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Step 5: Network Setup

Choose your network configuration

Now you are getting to the heart of IPFire, the setup of the network.
As described in the preparation steps, you should already know how your own network will be set up in the following steps.

In a standard IPFire installation it is Green + Red, which means 2 Networks. Typically you have one network for your home computers, your Green network, and then an Internet connection for the other network, your Red network.

A maximum of 4 networks is possible - namely Green, Blue, Orange and Red.

| Red | WAN | External network, Connected to the Internet (typically a connection to your ISP) |
| Green | LAN | Internal/Private network, connected locally |
| Orange | DMZ | The DeMilitarized Zone, an unprotected/Server network accessible from the internet |
| Blue | WLAN | Wireless Network, A separate network for wireless clients |

When using Blue, it is recommended to assign it to a NIC and connect a separate access point to it. However, it is also possible to assign a supported wireless card Blue status with the "hostapd" addon.

Assigning the NICs

Assign NICs

All of the previously chosen networks must have a network interface card (NIC) assigned.
In some cases, you may not have a NIC to assign to Red -- for example when using a dialup modem. For more information about the different linktypes, see here.
If you know what MAC address is related to which NIC you can assign them now.

In the simplest network, Red and Green, you basically have a 50/50 chance. The easiest thing is just assign one to each, if you can't ping out from your IPFire installation, change the network cables and try again. Keep in mind that you may have to reset your ISP's equipment (cable modem, etc.) before it will recognize a new device. A different NIC counts as a different device.

Network Addresses

Assign addresses to your network interfaces. Any valid IP address reserved for a LAN will work here (like 192.168..). It is standard practice for the interface to be on .1 of the range for a local network. Here you must configure your networks and subnet masks. A standard setting for a Green interface would be with a subnet mask of

This warning can be ignored when installing from a physical CD, since you are not yet connected to a network. You will have to take care when modifying networking settings afterwards from a remote shell using the command "setup".

The "Red" interface is special because its configuration depends on your ISP and the way it configures your external connection (your Internet connection).

Depending on your connection type you must setup your corresponding details.
If you are unsure, try DHCP. If necessary, get the required settings from your ISP, such as which type of authentication is required, and what authentication credentials (if any) you will have to provide.

DNS and Gateway Installation

In addition to specifying your connection type you might have to set up your Gateway (the next hop after your IPFire) and most probably your preferred DNS (Domain Name Service) servers. If you've selected DHCP in the previous step, then these values will be configured automatically, so no need to specify them here.

However, note that you may use this screen to set up your DNS servers even if your ISP uses DHCP, as values here will override your ISP's DHCP settings. This is useful for people who prefer to use one of the many Free Public DNS Servers instead of the ISP's defaults. Enter the DNS servers you want to use (but leave theDefault Gateway field blank).

You can also modify external, recursive DNS after the fact through the WebUI by going toNetwork | Assign DNS-Server

DHCP Server

The last thing to configure is the DHCP (Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol) Server for the Green Interface.
You just have to enable the DHCP server by enabling the tick within the brackets and enter the start and end values of your desired IP range. This range should be in the same "subnet" (range of addresses) as the IP of your IPFire's green network interface. So, if your green interface has the IP address of, you could use and, so type it into the corresponding fields unless you prefer another IP range. You can not use the IP Address of your Green Interface and also the last IP of your green network range.

The Broadcast "IP" for your network is, so you can not use that. You can narrow always it down to a smaller range if you do not plan to use that many PCs in your green network, or to reserve space for static IPs. These settings can always be changed later with the web interface ( your administrative client must have an IP out of the green network, probably by a temporary static setting ).

Because ipfire runs a DNS proxy, most users will probably want the Primary DNS server set to the ipfire box's Green IP address. (In this case the Secondary DNS can be left blank.)

The configuration of DHCP with "setup" is possible during installation only. However, you can change all these settings after installation with IPFire's Web UI .


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Older Revisions • August 2, 2016 at 12:36 am